Professional restaurant critics salaam to places like French Laundry, Next and Daniel, but citizen-reviewers are more smitten with a vineyard hideaway and a Don Ho-esque fish house in a converted Hawaiian beach house.
A newly issued list of the 10 U.S. restaurants with the highest reviews on OpenTable underscores the differences in how critics and the public perceive restaurants that are sufficiently upscale to merit a reservation. Users of the OpenTable service picked St. Francis Winery & Vineyards in Sonoma as their top choice, followed by Mama’s Fish House in Paia, Hawaii; the Kai-Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort in Chandler, Ariz.; Halls Chophouse in Charleston, S.C.; and Sushi Nakazawa in New York City.
Not one of the Top 5 has a Michelin star.
The preferences of critics and amateurs come closer to an alignment with the next five: Daniel Barber’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns in the suburbs of New York City was ranked sixth by OpenTable users, and Daniel Boulud’s Daniel in New York was rated ninth.
OpenTable said its rankings are based on more than 5 million reviews of some 200,000 restaurants.